by Adam Siegel
After what was likely heavy pressure behind the scenes, Republican House of Delegates member Glenn Davis just announced that he will not run for Mayor of Virginia Beach. If Davis had won that race, it would have led to a heavily contested race to replace him that quite likely would have led to a 50/50 Republican/Democrat split House. While the rules for the session (including Committee assignments and structures) have been set in place, heavily to the detriment of Democratic caucus power, by the narrow 51/49 Republican majority, that potential 50/50 split House would set the stage for a quite interesting 2019 legislative session and opened the door for advancing movement of legislation in the public interest currently blocked by the Republican House majority that secured its power with a minority of the votes cast in Virginia’s 2017 election.
See below for Davis’ announcement.
It’s About Doing Something, Not Being Something
To begin with, I want to thank Mayor Will Sessoms for his leadership and commitment to making Virginia Beach the best city in the world. Success for any organization relies heavily on having the right leader with the skill sets needed at that time to face the challenges and opportunities in front of it. It’s no different for the success of any city, and Mayor Sessoms stepped up to lead at a time when Virginia Beach needed him most.
I grew up in this great city. It’s where my passion for service was sparked and continues to lie. One of the greatest honors I could imagine would be to help lead it, ensuring that future generations growing up, starting a family, and creating businesses had the same if not better opportunities than I was blessed to have here.
This past week has been filled with a lot of contemplation and prayer regarding the mayoral seat, and I appreciated all of the calls, texts, and emails of encouragement and support.
Someone recently joked with me that they couldn’t figure out what it was that I wanted to be. The answer is simple, I don’t care about being anything. It’s what I want to do that’s important to me. For me, there is no difference between, City Council, House of Delegates, Lt. Governor, and Mayor. Sure, they may all have different responsibilities that come with each position, but for me they all provide the same thing, a chance to help grow economic opportunities for everyone, to get back to a landscape where tax and regulatory burdens do not hinder small business from growing and attracts new ideas for innovation, and to force discussions around solving problems, as opposed to “kicking the can down the road.” So for me titles don’t matter, they are not what drive my passion for service. If anything, it’s the other way around.
However, there were three things that weighed heavily on my mind during this decision process.
First, so many in my district and around the state worked tirelessly to keep what is a one seat Republican majority in the House of Delegates, and the reality that my decision could alter that balance of power was of significant concern. I believe that we have strong potential Republican candidates in my district that could win a special election; however, nothing is guaranteed. And, while I may have helped keep that Republican majority this last November, it is not mine to risk.
Secondly, I recognize the tax and regulatory reforms that our Republican caucus has been working on, and that I believe are extremely important for the continued growth of our economy and to making Virginia #1 again for business and job growth, remain unfinished. This last session saw significant strides toward reform with the passage of Del. Webert’s regulatory rollback legislation, Del. Marshall’s legislation related to enterprise zones, and Del. Morefield’s legislation creating a very unique set of incentives to attract businesses to some of our more economically distressed parts of the Commonwealth. It’s progress like this that draws me to continue serving in the House of Delegates.
Lastly, while the House Republican leadership never told me or even asked me not to run, it was obvious the concern all of us had about what the outcome of a special election for my district seat could mean. Our new Speaker and leadership team walked into a much more contentious session than anyone had contemplated prior to Nov. 7th, and it brought serious discussions about topics and actions that had not been anticipated prior to the 2017 election. However, even with those numerous curveballs, our Republican caucus still stuck together as a team. While we may not have all agreed on everything, after expressing our opinions and decisions were made, like a team, all of us continue to have each others back, and it’s not in me to be the one that lets my team down.
Therefore after much deliberation, Chelle and I believe that the right decision is for me to continue serving in the House of Delegates and working hard to preserve the principles of our Party for the benefit of our City and Commonwealth.